A monster shark takes a bite out of an expensive underwater research drone off Yanchep, Australia.
Drones have become wonderful tools to study the ocean, but sometimes the residents of the ocean conduct a little studying of their own.
Researchers from the University of Western Australia would have preferred this was not the case after a monster shark took a bite out of their $250,000 underwater drone causing $20,000 worth of damage.
According to The West Australian, the drone, known as an ocean glider, was measuring salinity and water temperatures when data transmissions abruptly ceased. Initial theories proposed that it had been struck by another vessel, but the bite marks on the drone revealed the obvious culprit was a large shark.
Judging by the bite radius crunched into the drone, scientists estimate the shark was around 13 feet long.
This is not the first shark attack on underwater equipment – several of the University’s gliders have been damaged over the years. Scientists believe the sharks mistake the drones for large fish or other prey animals.
For the cost of repairs after these incidents, appropriating some R&D money to discourage shark attacks might be a wise investment.